WA’s largest homebuilder BGC puts up for sale, sign up again

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He said the outlook for the WA market was strong, with rental vacancy rates at 0.7% and an unemployment rate at 3.4%.

“There is a lot of pent-up demand in housing. There are also a lot of challenges in the supply chain,” he said.

Mr Cooper declined to say what the company’s annual revenues were, but said it was a smaller business than in 2018. It has 2,400 direct employees.

Market watchers valued BGC at more than $2 billion in 2018. The late Len Buckeridge’s sons Sam and Andrew, along with stepson Julian Ambrose, stepped down from their day-to-day executive roles in 2019, but are still administrators of BGC.

Mr Cooper said the group exited mining contracts with the sale of BGC Contracting, sold two hotel assets, The Westin and Aloft, and also sold surplus land and buildings. BGC Contracting was sold to mining services company NRW Holdings in December 2019 for $310 million.

He said the balance sheet was strong and the group forecast a robust next four to five years for the WA housing market. Mr Cooper said the prospect of higher official interest rates would have little impact on demand.

“I think household balance sheets are in good shape,” he said.

But one of the hand brakes is the shortage of tradespeople, which is happening across the Australian market.

“Western Australia has a severe labor shortage,” he said.

BGC Group originally came to market in 2018 following a dispute between family members over the will left by Len Buckeridge, who died in 2014 aged 77. At the heart of the dispute was whether certain family members should receive BGC shares or cash.

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